How do psychologists identify disorders

How do psychologists identify disorders - How do...

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How do psychologists identify disorders? The classification problem: disorders (problems not clear cut) 1. DSM-IV of APA (uses a MULTIAXIAL system) *Axis = dimension 2. Axes I & II - used for diagnosis of disorders Axis I - identification of major disorders Axis II - identification of personality or developmental disorders (often comorbidity exists) 3. Remaining Axes are then used for supplemental information Axis III - physical problems Axis IV - severity of stress Axis V - current level of adaptive functioning The multiaxial system is a good thing - it attempts to show the BIG PICTURE of the person and not just focus on one "abnormal" or "unusual" factor, symptom, behavior, etc. DISORDERS A. Anxiety Disorders: All characterized by high (very high) apprehension and anxiety, tension, and nervousness 1. Generalized anxiety disorder and panic consists of prolonged, vague, unexplained but intense fears that do not seem to be attached to any particular object. very much like regular fears, but no actual danger objective anxiety vs. free-floating anxiety tense, apprehensive (concerns about future), difficulty concentrating, irritable, worried, can't concentrate headaches, insomnia, upset stomach, aching muscles, need to much sleep, sweating, dizziness, etc. Hypervigilance - always scanning the area for danger although none usually exists. GAD - anxiety persists for at least 1 month (usually longer) and is not attributable to recent life experiences (although they may play a role) 2. Panic disorder severe anxiety moments "nervous breakdown," a case of the nerves 3. Phobias: an intense, recurrent, unreasonable fear of a specific object or situation which leads to avoidance of the object or situation Simple Phobias (relatively rare) - an isolated fear of a single object or situation that results in avoidance o miscellaneous category comprising irrational fears that don't fall under any other category. For example - claustrophobia Social Phobias - characterized by fear and embarrassment in dealings with others. Often the fear is that their anxiety will be seen by others.
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course PSY 2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '08 term at Broward College.

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How do psychologists identify disorders - How do...

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